Written by John Bayliss
Senior Account Executive
As people return to work following the festive season, Remarkable Engagement’s Wales team has looked at the major infrastructure projects 2017 could have in store for Wales.
With local elections adding to existing political uncertainty following Brexit, will these infrastructure projects act to bring Wales together and provide the significant economic benefits promised?
Tidal Lagoon – Swansea Bay
Currently the subject of a UK Government review, which recently concluded and submitted its findings to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy; this is seen as a ground breaking project of international significance, which could put Wales at the forefront of tidal energy generation sector globally.
With numerous lagoons in the pipeline across the UK and abroad, the success of the Swansea Bay Lagoon could kick-start a new green energy industry with a manufacturing base located in South West Wales.
South Wales Metro
Costing in the region of £600m in the short term this regional infrastructure scheme aims to transform the transport offering in South East Wales and the Valleys.
Should the funding be successfully identified, with uncertainty currently surrounding the Welsh Government’s application for EU match funding due to ‘Brexit’, this project could unlock development opportunities in the ‘greater-Cardiff’ area, assist local authorities meet their new housing targets, and provide a shot in the arm for local economies across the South Wales Region.
M4 Relief Road
Debated by Welsh politicians for the last two decades, the major daily congestion issues on the relatively small stretch of the M4 between Cardiff and Magor are set to continue for the next few years. However the Welsh Government’s preferred ‘Black Route’ will undergo a full Public Local Inquiry, starting on 28 February, prior to any commencement of construction work which is tentatively due to start in Spring 2018.
The Inquiry will be led by an independent inspector who will examine all aspects associated with the ‘Black Route’, with objectors hoping to highlight the environmental impact (particularly on the protected Gwent Levels near Newport) and the more affordable, less intrusive, Blue Route as a way of derailing the entire project.
The scheme, as envisaged by Welsh Government, would represent a £1bn investment should the outcome of the inquiry approve the scheme following its five month evidence gathering process.
Swansea City Centre Regeneration
With two strategic sites up for sale, including Swansea Council’s former beachside headquarters, it is hoped that by the end of 2017 construction will have started to introduce new homes, leisure facilities, including an indoor arena complex, in addition to commercial retail outlets and an IMAX cinema.
Civic leaders of the City and County of Swansea hope the City Centre will look radically different should they successfully attract enough developers to the table over the coming weeks. This follows the appointment of both Rivington Land & Acme and Trebor Developments in 2016 to manage the regeneration of the two sites, with both now in the process of drafting viable masterplans.
Be Remarkable In Wales
Specialising in political and stakeholder engagement, and public consultation, in the development and construction sectors, Remarkable’s Wales team have the skills and understanding to help make your projects successful.
For more information about our services in Wales, please get in touch with our Welsh team on 02921 670 468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org